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The case of the glowing fish

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - An eerie glow from salmon drying in a smokehouse startled some residents of Holy Cross, an Eskimo village on the lower Yukon River in Alaska.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the glow was from phosphorescent marine bacteria that had spread over the fish.

Studies of the bacteria show that it spreads when fish are stored in unusually moist conditions.


Purifying corporate research

About 12 of the world's most prominent medical journals are issuing a joint editorial this week, stating that they will reject any scientific studies that do not come with an assurance that the sponsor - whether a drug company or another organization - has given researchers complete access to the data and freedom to report the findings.

In recent years, funding for studies to test new drugs, vaccines, and devices has increasingly come from industry rather than the federal government. As the cost of developing new products has grown, companies have tightened their control over every aspect of the research.


Early extended-family care

WASHINGTON - Early humans were willing to lend a helping hand - or at least some mushy deer meat - to assist elderly and incapacitated members of their clans, tens of thousands of years earlier than previously believed, scientists said this week. Studying human remains found in southeastern France dating back 175,000 to 200,000 years, anthropologists determined that a toothless and apparently very old pre-Neanderthal survived for quite a long time, despite needing others to prepare food. This is by far the earliest evidence of such a social safety net existing in human communities.

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